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eBay Invites Africans to Buy from US Sellers

eBay has partnered with a site called MallforAfrica.com to help Africans purchase goods from US sellers, starting with shoppers in Nigeria and Kenya.

While sellers welcome all new buyers, there are some sellers who don’t wish to sell internationally even when, as in this case, they only need to ship domestically. That’s because the end user can file a complaint – and the seller finds him or herself dealing with an international dispute and possibly international returns.

Sellers have complained about freight forwarders, as some such services are called, for many years, though other sellers don’t care where the buyer is based as long as they are using a US ship-to address.

With MallforAfrica.com, the continent is new, but the arrangement is not. eBay has partnered with Chinese fashion site Xiu.com and has enabled sellers in countries such as Russia and Brazil to buy from US sellers, even providing services to translate listings into other languages.

MallforAfrica.com posted an announcement on Facebook this week, explaining the creation of an “eBay Powered by MallforAfrica” app to run on its platforms so when buyers in Africa shop with the app, they’ll be able to shop on eBay but pay through MallforAfrica.

The company also pointed to an article in TechCrunch about the new partnership where it quoted eBay Business Development Director Fernando Saiz: “The experience will be seamless for a U.S. based seller and will feel as though they are selling to a US buyer.”

“Both parties confirmed the partnership will be a financial, marketing, and logistics arrangement only – eBay has not taken any equity stake in MallforAfrica,” TechCrunch reported.


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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.